Studies

  • Motte and Bailey
    The village of Pirton has been described by English Heritage as “one of the most important historic sites in Hertfordshire with its well preserved village and castle earthworks. The scheduled ancient monument contains a castle complex of a motte and two baileys and a planned village. This essay attempts to find out its history, and in particular when it was built and by whom.
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  • The survival rates of houses of different status
    A research project to study the survival rates of seventeenth century houses in Pirton.
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  • Identifying the site of Pirton’s windmill
    This study attempts to discover whether there was one or more windmills in the parish of Pirton, locate the site, identify the dates of operation and consider the likely design (type) of the windmill.
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  • A study of seventeenth century wills and inventories from a North Hertfordshire village
    This study provides a detailed picture of the life of the early seventeenth century of yeoman and their families in the rural village of Pirton.
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  • A transcription and translation of Pirton’s oldest surviving manor court roll
    Every lord of a manor had the right to hold a court for his tenants. The courts were presided over by the lord’s steward. Manorial juries consisting of 12 homagers were sworn in. Their first duty was to deal with the lord’s financial interests in his manor. They then appointed officers eg constable, common ale taster, judged pleas brought by individuals, and laid fixed penalties on categories of petty offences. Decisions were not imposed by the lord or his steward but were made by the jury, who were selected from the chief tenants of the manor. The transactions of the court were recorded in abbreviated medieval latin until the mid eighteenth century except for a few years in the Civil War when they were in English. This translation of the fourteenth century manor court roll for the Manor of Pirton Dodingsells of 1373 and 1376 shows the type of business carried out in the medieval court. Surviving court rolls from this manor run from 1373 to 1925.
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  • A study of seventeenth-century farming practices in Pirton, Hertfordshire
    This essay looks at types of farming carried on in the village of Pirton- arable, pastoral or mixed-the size of farms, type of crops grown, and whether new farming methods were being introduced.
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  • A village revolt
    In the year of the Armada, 1588, Pirton villagers rose up against the Lords of the Manor who had tried to take away their rights to pasture their animals in the commonfields. The case was taken to the Court of Star Chamber.
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  • Patterns of worship in a North Hertfordshire village in the mid nineteenth century
    A religious census was taken in March 1851 to discover patterns of attendance at churches of all denomination across the country. This essay attempts to interpret the results for Pirton.
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  • The process of parliamentary enclosure, focusing on Pirton, Hertfordshire
    This study looks at the process of enclosing the strips in the open fields in Pirton at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
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  • A survey of footpaths and bridleways 1950-1952 in the parish of Pirton
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  • A History of Pirton School
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  • A study of the parish of Pirton by Philip Holiday
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